Discovery, autopsy and progress: Diocletian’s jigsaw puzzles

M. H. Crawford

in Classics in Progress

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263235
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734328 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Discovery, autopsy and progress: Diocletian’s jigsaw puzzles

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It is commonplace that historical enquiry evolves as successive generations ask different questions, in a complex interplay between, on the one hand, the intellectual traditions in which individual historians have grown up, the different traditions that they discover, and the world as a whole in which they move; on the other hand, an ever greater body of knowledge and a wider range of historical tools. This chapter explores, by way of the particular example of the edicts of the Emperor Diocletian on maximum prices and on the coinage, the story of the discovery and study of their texts. It examines the impact on historical enquiry both of chance discoveries and of deliberate autopsy.

Keywords: Emperor Diocletian; historical enquiry; maximum prices; coinage; deliberate autopsy

Chapter.  6714 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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